NFL trade rumors: Latest updates and information for 2021 offseason

NFL trade rumors have died down following the early offseason Matthew Stafford and Carson Wentz blockbusters. Fellow quarterback Sam Darnold was just moved, too. Meanwhile, reigning NFL passing champion Deshaun Watson requested a trade from the Houston Texans prior to troubling allegations of sexual assault.

As for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers requesting a trade, things have also died down on that front. Below, we look at the latest NFL trade rumors with training camps slated to start here soon.

Will Aaron Rodgers end his career in Green Bay?

Expected return for New England Patriots in N’Keal Harry trade

It was earlier in July that the agent for this 2019 first-round pick officially requested a trade. It comes as no surprise after New England added multiple veteran wide receivers in free agency and with the Arizona State product struggling through his first two seasons.

Harry, 23, has recorded a combined 45 receptions for 414 yards and four touchdowns in 21 career games. He wants a change of scenery, and the Pats are about to fulfill that request. The reported cost for another team in acquiring the 6-foot-4 Harry is said to be a conditional sixth-round pick. Despite Harry’s struggles, there’s a number of teams who would love to take a chance that a fresh start will help him resurrect a floundering career.

Buffalo Bills could release Cole Beasley?

Fresh off the single-best season of his nine-year NFL career, most figured that Beasley’s job in Western New York was safe. He’s a consistent target for up-and-coming young quarterback Josh Allen and is playing under a team-friendly four-year, $29 million contract.

Unfortunately, Beasley made news earlier this offseason by questioning the COVID-19 vaccines and indicating that he’d sooner retire than take the shot(s).

“I’m not going to take meds for a leg that isn’t broken. I’d rather take my chances with Covid and build up my immunity that way,” Beasley wrote on Twitter. “Eat better. Drink water. Exercise and do what I think is necessary to be a healthy individual. That is MY CHOICE based on MY experiences and what I think is best.”

While taking the COVID-19 vaccines remains an individual choice, there’s been a push by the NFL and its teams for immunity as a way to get back to normalcy.

According to Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News, Beasley’s stance could be one of the reasons he could be released ahead of Week 1. Other facts here include a $5.34 million savings against the cap by releasing Beasley — a number that could be used to bring in Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz in a trade. Meanwhile, the Bills are loaded at the slot with the recently-signed Emmanuel Sanders and youngster Isaiah McKenzie. Beasley, 32, recorded 82 receptions for 967 yards in 2020 — both career-highs.

NFL trade rumors: Stephon Gilmore does not expect to be moved

The entire NFL offseason has been filled with rumors that the New England Patriots will move off former Defensive Player of the Year, cornerback Stephon Gilmore. With the veteran looking for an extension and remaining away from offseason activities, these rumors have ramped up some.

Now, according to Gilmore himself, it’s highly unlikely that the All-Pro defensive back will be traded. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on SportsCenter on Thursday that the corner “has largely not expected to be traded throughout this process because he knows the Patriots have made moves with Gilmore in mind.” Whether that means Gilmore will be on the field at the start of training camp remains to be seen.

Baker Mayfield not willing to take a discount

NFL contracts, Baker Mayfield extension
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The Cleveland Browns are engaged in contract extension talks with star quarterback Baker Mayfield leading up to the 2021 season. The former Heisman winner is eligible for an extension for the first time in his career this offseason and is looking to cash in after a breakout 2020 campaign.

How much so? According to this note from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (h/t Bleacher Report), Mayfield is not willing to take a hometown discount to sign with the Browns. This comes on the heels of previous reports suggesting that the two sides were not close in contract talks. Our latest projection has him earning $165 million over five years with $60 million in fully guaranteed cash.

No trade market for Aaron Rodgers right now?

By now, it’s known that Rodgers has requested a trade from the Packers and continued to holdout throughout their offseason activities. Despite this, Green Bay’s stance has been clear relating to the reigning NFL MVP. The team has no intention of trading him. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, that’s led to a non-existent trade market for the 37-year-old Rodgers.

“I’ve also checked in with multiple teams around the league who are monitoring the Aaron Rodgers trade situation. They said there is no trade market for Rodgers right now,” Fowler reported recently.

It takes two to tango. If the Packers have no interest in trading Rodgers, no trade is going to happen. And now that we’re less than a month until the start of training camp, other teams are pretty much set at quarterback. However, Rodgers did not opt out of the 2021 season by the July 2 deadline. This means he’ll likely play…somewhere.

No NFL opt outs for the 2021 season

Roughly 70 players opted out of the 2020 campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the NFL changes its rules heading into the 2021 season and cases on a downward trend, we didn’t see any opt outs ahead of the July 2 deadline.

There’s a reason for this. Over 65% of NFL players have now been vaccinated. The league is also refusing to provide stipends for players not considered high-risk. That wasn’t the case in 2020.

Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears among top suitors for Zach Ertz

The Philadelphia Eagles are playing hardball when it comes to trade talks surrounding the three-time Pro Bowl tight end. That might change some time soon with training camp getting going in roughly a month. By now, it’s known that Ertz is on the trade block. His $12.72 million cap hit for the Eagles in 2021 makes it a near certainty Ertz will not be back in Philadelphia.

According to Matt Verderame of FanSided, the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills have come up as potential landing spots for Ertz in a trade. Buffalo is in need of help at tight end with Dawson Knox not living up to expectations. Meanwhile, veteran Jimmy Graham has seen his game regress in recent seasons for the Bears. Ertz, 30, averaged 86 receptions for 914 yards from 2015-19 before struggling a season ago.

Gardner Minshew trade on the horizon

Gardner Minshew trade
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A recent report from Jeremy Fowler at ESPN notes that the Jacksonville Jaguars would take a fifth or sixth-round pick in return for the third-year quarterback. It’s been long known that Gardner Minshew would be traded once Jacksonville earned the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and ultimately, selected Trevor Lawrence with said selection.

Right now, there’s not really a market for Minshew as it relates to him competing for a starting job. Despite his low salary over the next two seasons and the fact that he’s performed well, the former Washington State star is likely looking at a backup role.

It doesn’t look like Jimmy Garoppolo will be on the move

After an offseason filled with trade rumors surrounding Jimmy Garoppolo, there’s now every reason to believe that he will not only be back with the 49ers, but will be their Week 1 starter.

“I think Jimmy had his best spring since we’ve had him,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters during minicamp.

Once the 49ers traded up for the third pick and ultimately selected Trey Lance, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Garoppolo would be jettisoned from town. Now that the trade market has died down and with Garoppolo looking good, that’s unlikely to be the case. He’ll compete with Lance for the starting job during training camp.

Could a Chandler Jones trade be in the cards?

NFL trade rumors: Chandler Jones?
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When the Arizona Cardinals signed fellow edge rusher J.J. Watt earlier in the offseason, NFL rumors indicated that Jones could be on the chopping block. Arizona pushed back against the narrative, noting that it wanted the two to team up together. That might no longer be the case. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the two sides could be headed to a contract stalemate. Jones, 31. has a $15.5 million base salary in 2021 — the final year of his contract. He’s also set to count $20.83 million against the cap. Prior to missing all but five games to injury last season, Jones recorded 98 quarterback hits and 60 sacks in his first four years with the Cardinals.

Julio Jones trade shakes up AFC title race

The Tennessee Titans won the Julio Jones sweepstakes, acquiring the seven-time Pro Bowler and a sixth-round pick in 2023 from the Atlanta Falcons for two picks, including a 2022 second-rounder. By adding Jones to the mix with stud young receiver A.J. Brown and two-time reigning NFL rushing champion Derrick Henry, the Titans have an elite skill-position group for Ryan Tannehill. It certainly makes Tennessee a top contender to unseat the two-time reigning conference champion Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC.

NFL trade rumors: Will the Chicago Bears find a taker for Nick Foles

A recent report suggests that this former Super Bowl MVP turned down an opportunity to return to the Philadelphia Eagles as Jalen Hurts’ backup. After the Bears signed Andy Dalton and drafted Justin Fields in the first round late last month, the market is clearly thinning out for Foles.

Despite this, the 32-year-old quarterback is set to count a mere $6.67 million against the cap in 2021. That’s backup money. Will any team take a chance on a veteran who has thrown a mere 81 touchdown passes in nine NFL seasons and has not had success in his career outside of Philadelphia?

Denver Broncos now favored to land Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers, NFL trade rumors
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The 37-year-old Rodgers took to the media earlier in the offseason to absolutely blast the culture within the Packers’ organization, leading to more NFL trade rumors suggesting that he could be moved. Immediately after that, Vegas odds came out indicating that the Broncos were overwhelming favorites to land Aaron Rodgers in a trade.

Remember, Denver joined the Las Vegas Raiders and San Francisco 49ers on his wish list when the reigning NFL MVP requested to be moved in late April. San Francisco since selected Trey Lance No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft while the Raiders can’t be seen as legit contenders. Could this mean a Rodgers trade to Denver is in the cards here soon?

NFL trade rumors: Cleveland Browns, David Njoku “in good place”

Over the course of the past calendar year-plus, rumors had suggested that former Cleveland Browns first-round pick David Njoku could be dealt. The tight end requested a trade ahead of the deadline last year, but nothing came to fruition on that end.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the two sides are now “in a good place” with a trade being highly unlikely. A former star at Miami (F), Njoku has caught 112 passes for 1,279 yards in four seasons. He will become a free agent following the 2021 campaign.

San Francisco 49ers were always targeting Trey Lance in trade up

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance
Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; North Dakota State Bisons quarterback Trey Lance is displayed on the video board after being selected as the third pick by the San Francisco 49ers during the 2021 NFL Draft at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The narrative being thrown around by the national media leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft concluded that the San Francisco 49ers were targeting Mac Jones with the third pick. It was almost a foregone conclusion, according to some. However, it never really made sense to give up two future firsts for a limited quarterback. Instead, it has been noted that the 49ers have been targeting Trey Lance since January with the other option being Justin Fields. Both represent lower ceilings, but have much higher upsides than Jones. In the end, San Francisco hitched itself to Lance.

Philadelphia Eagles still asking for too much in Zach Ertz trade

Philadelphia Eagles, Zach Ertz
October 4, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press reported during the annual NFL Draft that Philadelphia was demanding a third-round pick for this former Pro Bowl tight end. Said price was seen as too high for interested teams. It makes sense with the 30-year-old Ertz coming off a career-worst season that saw him record just 36 receptions for 335 yards. He’s slated to count $12.72 million against the cap in 2021, $8.5 million of which an acquiring team would be on the hook for. The Cleveland Browns had in the past shown interest in the veteran.

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